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Background to Technology Arenas as used here
This website is dedicated to primarily point out that there are common scientific and engineering principles, as applied in a different configuration than normally used today, could provide an economical means to lift the constructions materials up from the ground into GEO, the Clarke Belt, so as to build the large scale facilities to build and operate the Solar Power Satellites sufficient to supply enough electrical power to fill the needs of all the world's nations, 24 hours a day 365 days a year, and do it without a "carbon footprint". The same transportation technique, once established, would also enable some other very needed facilities for solar-powered fully recycling toxic industrial materials and discarded consumer appliances; for providing electrical lift for large spacecraft construction sites in GEO spaceport facilities, for efficient launch already up 91% out of earth's gravitational well; and even for building large scale space living facilities similar to the mid-1970's design "Stanford Torus" mile-diameter wheel for self-sustaining living for 10,000 people with their agriculture and light industry, but built out of materials quickly brought economically up from ground, instead of being made from currently difficult to reach lunar and asteroidal materials - although then from GEO those could be gotten abundantly later, too, to build lots more of them; and to lift their populations up there easily too. Room for billions of people to live there and live well, although a huge additional construction project indeed that would be.
Abundant electrical power, without either adding carbon dioxide or nuclear waste to the environment; complete recycle of life-desctructive industrial toxic materials back into pure element reusable forms; electrical lift of spacecraft parts up for assembly in high GEO spaceports for travel to and from a high 91% gravitational energy location (going to Mars would be a large well-equipped expedition, not a scary minimally-equipped struggle in 20 - 25 years from now); and a way to quickly lift construction materials to build rotating space cities in GEO - all done by using existing science and technology principles yet utilized in a very different way than the conventional ways corporations are considering now.
An elongated hoop structure which encircles the planet and is rotating fast enough so its constrained centrifugal outward force balances the inward gravitational force on its aggregate mass, is what supports the 131,100-km-perimeter lifting structure itself, and the energy of the high speed hoop mass is there for also being tapped for payload spacecraft to hitch a ride up from ground to GEO, so they thus lift no heavy fuel to power their raising, thus highly efficient and electrically powered; and it eventually would use electricity gotten from facilities up in space itself, beamed down to the ground terminal acceleration site from GEO so becomes a fully energy-self-sufficient transportation system linking the ground with high earth orbit. (Contrast that with the enormous energy cost of current launches even to the build and supply the International Space Station.) And the energy added to payload by moving it from ground up into GEO is only $0.72 of electricity per pound (for calculations, see workenergy.)
Abundant energy for civilization, clean environment, high spaceports, and vast room to grow ... all very big goodies. But ... why hasn't it happened already?
Why? The author here can only say what is possible and worth doing, pointing the way, showing a how-to-do-it; yet other people with their aggressive natures and vast wealth resources are the ones that can make it physically happen for the world; the ball is in their court. The big obstacles are not technical or economic, but instead are the old ones of business inertia and being guided by the fastest biggest buck and sheer greed and power-lust by the few; and needing to compensate those with existing franchises in the equatorial plane out to GEO while shifting their satellite's functions up into GEO. Done quickly enough, say done in the next 15 or 20 years - which it could be if we were determined to make it so - it could save enormous suffering worldwide in the near future, and enable abundant living worldwide and a start on a nurturing world environment sustainable system. Having abundant resources, and using them wisely, can make a huge difference in worldwide quality of life and although GEO may seem like a lot of nothingness and KESTS to GEO a bridge to nowhere, look again. And why "worldwide" ... well, I for one believe that constructive friends are lots more fun than sparring partners, for one thing; maybe there are some other folks somewhere who believe that, too.
Viewpoint from now, however, is unfortunately that those who could make it physically happen now are busy doing other things, don't challenge their right to control what happens, they rule and can prove it. Pipsqueeks with their non-standard ideas are to be ignored to death, who do they think they are to want to change things, don't they know who is boss here, how dare they say there is a better way? Life is good as things are right now on the luxury yachts and estates, what's the problem? The pipsqueesks are nobody, that's who; everybody just keep on doing business as usual and when the pipsqueeks are slowly erased completely, those ideas will be loose there for the power-elite to play with in their own good time, if they want, controlling its existence with bits and pieces of patented key parts. Despite that people-reality scenario, this website is about abundant clean energy worldwide, complete recycle of toxic materials, high spaceports, cities built in GEO ... a transportation technique uniquely enabling them, and all of it powered by clean solar energy abundant in GEO; and humanity could choose to be working in that direction right now. The plans of how to do it are on this website; enjoy.
Saying it again, since it all still is such a strange idea to most people - surprisingly including some academics and engineers - that by using what we already know now, the contention here is that civilization potentially can expand in a big way into space, at least the space near the Earth, and start as soon as we choose to do so - indeed it could have already been done if started two decades ago when the author first proposed its basics on the GEnie network in 1988 (although the author has added a huge amount of detail to the concepts since then, and published formal technical papers on them in the meantime) - if we retain the technology capability by the time if and when that path is chosen, that is. This could be done by using some well known basic principles to do their thing as expanded into the arena of space access from the earth surface, and by filling in the blanks with technological principles as existing nowadays, to create new ways of creating opportunities for mankind. Hopefully they will be utilized in conscious, responsible ways. Mankind does do that sometimes, you know, in between having destructive fits of craving to conquer weaker others. When not having to cope with such bully romps, humanity is often able to do wondrous things indeed. Expanding civilization into space immediately could be one of those wondrous things, and if properly done could solve many of the severe problems we now face, such as obtaining abundant energy to power our great civilization, while not also strangling the world with its pollution; and being able to fully recycle the materials our vast industrial civilization produces. Read these pages to find out how.
Rocket-propelled launch vehicles have scouted the spacial terrain out therein nearby space; and even now show that people can indeed live in space - in the shielded LEO environment, that is - and even while enduring unnecessary weightless conditions. Rockets have been great, using the principle of every action produces an equal but opposite reaction, hurling mass away out of the rocket engine produces and equal but opposite push on the engine and the vehicle of which it is part including its payload, and off they go. But the rocket has to start off with its full load of fuel as it climbs, and so unfortunately nearly all of what it can carry is the fuel and its tankage, only a very small portion remains for the payload itself that is going up. And coming back down can be hard in more ways than one, as that energy is thrown away in the descent. It is like the horse enabling somebody to cross a continent, but if you want to conduct movement of millions of times the weight of the man, and do it every hour across the continent, you need to use something different than the horse. Horses are great, but give them a break. Railroads and highways more match the needs of a huge civilization's daily busyness. Leave the horses, and the rocket launch vehicles, to do what they do best, while we set up a transportation system type that matches the growing needs.
Also see GEnie Spaceport Space and Science Library relevant files and the many technical publication references and powerpoint presentations scattered among these pages.
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Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.